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Please help me to figure out how to phone ahead for accommodation

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and back (no name; Tours; Francés; sea; no name)
with my Irish cell phone what do I need to do with this example number to get through? +34982548067
I don't know what kind of a cell phone you have but on a modern smartphone, any of the following three methods ought to work, and the last two methods ought to work on any modern cell phone. And all three ought to work whether you are in Spain or in Ireland. The number is written in the ideal format (plus sign, country code 34, area code 982, individual number 548067, all without leading zeros).
  • press on +34982548067 and let the phone dial for you (my preferred method)
  • type +34982548067 on the dialing pad as it is written: press plus, press 3, press 4 ...
  • type 0034982548067 (my least preferred method)
Buen camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
2017 2018
I don't know what kind of a cell phone you have but on a modern smartphone, any of the following three methods ought to work, and the last two methods ought to work on any modern cell phone. And all three ought to work whether you are in Spain or in Ireland. The number is written in the ideal format (plus sign, country code 34, area code 982, individual number 548067, all without leading zeros).
  • press on +34982548067 and let the phone dial for you (my preferred method)
  • type +34982548067 on the dialing pad as it is written: press plus, press 3, press 4 ...
  • type 0034982548067 (my least preferred method)
Buen camino!
Thank you Kathar1na, somtimes too a cell phone number is given as a contact number,in that case do i put in the country code before the number and omit the first number of the cell phone number? For example here in ireland if dialing from outside ireland 0872353860 becomes 00353 872353860?
 

natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago (2009)
León-Ponferrada (2014)
Camino Inglés (2017)
Hi Paddy,
In Spain all cell phone numbers start with "6". (And all landlines start with "9" or "8"). And with a few exceptions, all Spanish phone numbers are 9 numbers long. For example 600 600 800. or 900 700 800. Sometimes Spanish phone numbers are written 600 60 08 00, too.

So if someone gives you a cell number in Spain, put in the country code and then still make sure the 9 numbers of the actual phone number are left intact, and you should be fine. (Don't omit any numbers of the cell phone number.)
Buen Camino!
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and back (no name; Tours; Francés; sea; no name)
somtimes too a cell phone number is given as a contact number,in that case do i put in the country code before the number and omit the first number of the cell phone number?
I think mobile phone numbers in Spain start with 6 or 7 (they don't have a leading zero). If the mobile phone number is 612345678 for example, I would dial plus sign, followed by country code for Spain, followed by mobile phone number: +34612345678 .... and that would also be the way I'd store it if I want to keep it. Or, obviously, 00 instead of + .

However and unless I am mistaken, WHILE in Spain with your European (Irish) cell phone, you could also dial directly: 612345678.

If you don't mind: it would be nice if you could let us know how it worked for you. Despite all the progress with our European unity and technical harmonisation, there are sometimes still unexpected surprises with this kind of stuff. ☺
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2015, CPo 2016, VDLP[Sev-Các] 2017, VDLP[Các-Sal] 2018
@roamingpaddy if you have a data allowance on your mobile in Ireland this carries over to use in Spain ... meaning you can use WhatsApp to phone/text using the data allowance whereas calls would incur extra charges. I find a lot of albergues/hostals use whatsapp, The easiest way to find out is to save the number to your contacts and then see if you can message them through whatsapp. Can be easier to write & read texts too (translate to/from spanish) rather than speak/listen to Spanish over the phone. Hope this is of help.

P.s. just looking at my phone now i save spanish numbers as +34 and that seems to work for me e.g. +34 6xx xxx xxx
 
Camino(s) past & future
2017 2018
Hi Paddy,
In Spain all cell phone numbers start with "6". (And all landlines start with "9" or "8"). And with a few exceptions, all Spanish phone numbers are 9 numbers long. For example 600 600 800. or 900 700 800. Sometimes Spanish phone numbers are written 600 60 08 00, too.

So if someone gives you a cell number in Spain, put in the country code and then still make sure the 9 numbers of the actual phone number are left intact, and you should be fine. (Don't omit any numbers of the cell phone number.)
Buen Camino!
Thank you
Hi Paddy,
In Spain all cell phone numbers start with "6". (And all landlines start with "9" or "8"). And with a few exceptions, all Spanish phone numbers are 9 numbers long. For example 600 600 800. or 900 700 800. Sometimes Spanish phone numbers are written 600 60 08 00, too.

So if someone gives you a cell number in Spain, put in the country code and then still make sure the 9 numbers of the actual phone number are left intact, and you should be fine. (Don't omit any numbers of the cell phone number.)
Buen Camino!
Thank you so much for this information.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2017 2018
@roamingpaddy if you have a data allowance on your mobile in Ireland this carries over to use in Spain ... meaning you can use WhatsApp to phone/text using the data allowance whereas calls would incur extra charges. I find a lot of albergues/hostals use whatsapp, The easiest way to find out is to save the number to your contacts and then see if you can message them through whatsapp. Can be easier to write & read texts too (translate to/from spanish) rather than speak/listen to Spanish over the phone. Hope this is of help.
Thank you ,I will take note of this
 
Camino(s) past & future
2017 2018
I think mobile phone numbers in Spain start with 6 or 7 (they don't have a leading zero). If the mobile phone number is 612345678 for example, I would dial plus sign, followed by country code for Spain, followed by mobile phone number: +34612345678 .... and that would also be the way I'd store it if I want to keep it. Or, obviously, 00 instead of + .

However and unless I am mistaken, WHILE in Spain with your European (Irish) cell phone, you could also dial directly: 612345678.

If you don't mind: it would be nice if you could let us know how it worked for you. Despite all the progress with our European unity and technical harmonisation, there are sometimes still unexpected surprises with this kind of stuff. ☺
Thank you again Katar1na
 
Camino(s) past & future
2017 2018
I think mobile phone numbers in Spain start with 6 or 7 (they don't have a leading zero). If the mobile phone number is 612345678 for example, I would dial plus sign, followed by country code for Spain, followed by mobile phone number: +34612345678 .... and that would also be the way I'd store it if I want to keep it. Or, obviously, 00 instead of + .

However and unless I am mistaken, WHILE in Spain with your European (Irish) cell phone, you could also dial directly: 612345678.

If you don't mind: it would be nice if you could let us know how it worked for you. Despite all the progress with our European unity and technical harmonisation, there are sometimes still unexpected surprises with this kind of stuff. ☺
Thank you Kathar1na,I will let you know how it works for me.
 

amancio

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
Or using Booking.com- found that worked well when we did CP in 2018, the first 5 days waiting for my backpack to decide to join me after it went on its own holiday.
Very handy system!
while that probably works and is functional, I cannot help seeing it is not the most pilgrim like thing to do, booking.com just bids and places bookings, like a standard holiday.
I do understand it is a practical option, but booking.com takes any business around the area, not just the places that are devoted to pilgrims.
You can also book a holiday to Fiji on that page, for example
 

amancio

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
Thank you
Thank you so much for this information.
er... actually, not quite 100% accurate, we ran out of of "6" numbers and "7" starting numbers are now standard too, so you will find the following standard numbers in Spain

900 is free calls
902 cost you money
905, 906 and 906 cost you a frigging fortune to dial.
9xx and 8xx numbers other than the above are province codes, land lines, no special fees, only you cannot send whatsapp or SMS to contact them
6xx AND ALSO 7xx are mobile numbers, suitable for whatsapp, telegram, SMS, but there was such a high demand that mobile numbers now start with a 7.

But, as they do in France, hospitaleros know one another and they will be more than happy to book for you in advance one or two days ahead. That is the best choice, it is a standard way of doing bookings in France, and it works beautifully, in my experience, and the private hospitaleros will be very happy to do the bookings for you, they know one another and they know whom to trust coming pilgrims.

Buen camino, irlandés!!!
 

natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago (2009)
León-Ponferrada (2014)
Camino Inglés (2017)
Yes, good points, @amancio . Thanks for clarifying about cell numbers also starting with "7".
And it's a good thing to remember that you can't send a WhatsApp message or SMS to a landline...so @roamingpaddy if a number starts with 8 or 9 you'll need to call them instead of text them.

And one more thing - I've noticed that unless I put in a country code, WhatsApp won't populate the contact for me. (I add +34 to all Spanish numbers.)
 

MarkyD

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés 31/08/2018 - 20/10/2018
When phoning ahead while on the Camino for accommodation with my Irish cell phone what do I need to do with this example number to get through? +34982548067
Many albergues will show a mobile number for the hospitalero, you could send them WhatsApp or SMS message, but you must use 0034 when messaging from a UK mobile number.
Alternatively, if you have data roaming activated, assuming you have a smartphone, then you can book via Booking.com in many instances.
 
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MarkyD

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés 31/08/2018 - 20/10/2018
When phoning ahead while on the Camino for accommodation with my Irish cell phone what do I need to do with this example number to get through? +34982548067
Also, if you get stuck, ask a local to help you out, a shopkeeper for example; they are usually very helpful to pilgrims, especially a shop selling pilgrim merchandising
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia (May 2016)
C. Frances (Sept 2017)
Camino Portugues (June 2019)
When phoning ahead while on the Camino for accommodation with my Irish cell phone what do I need to do with this example number to get through? +34982548067

I seem never to be able to figure out how to use phones overseas for actual calls. I ask the hospitalera/o or somebody at the bar to call for me. Or, if the place has a website, I email them and that often works.
 

Dick Pickering

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Did entire Frances in 2013 and SJPP to Leon in 2014.
Plan to do Lisbon to Santiago in 2015.
When phoning ahead while on the Camino for accommodation with my Irish cell phone what do I need to do with this example number to get through? +34982548067
My best experience was using Booking.com. most of the places on the Camijo use this site. This way you stick yo your own language and they are very reliable.
 

zrexer

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014, 15,16 & 19 Camino Frances
2017 Camino Portuguese
2018 Camino Primitivo
2020 Camino Del Norte
In our six Camino's I have never pre-booked an albergue hotel or pension, the ony exception is our airport hotels in Madrid since we are traveling internationally from Canada.
Part of the charm of the Camino for us is figuring things out each day as we go. It may sound weird to some, but we like the idea of not knowing each morning where we sleep that night. Makes it a little more spontaneous and interesting.
We have never had a problem getting accommodation on any night. We have had to on a few occasions walk to the next village, but again part of the charm of a Camino.
 

Jodean

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
22 Sept. to 21 Oct. 2015, Pamplona to Santiago
6-23.04 Porto to Santiago 2018
17.09-30.09 CF 2018
Using the Wise Pilgrim app, I could just tap call and it would call for me.
As for booking dot com, though useful, they take a hefty commission from the albergues, so it is always better to book direct. The albergues appreciate it.
I sometimes had the hostess where I was staying, call ahead for me. Sometimes I sent emails or called myself.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
In our six Camino's I have never pre-booked an albergue hotel or pension, the ony exception is our airport hotels in Madrid since we are traveling internationally from Canada.
Part of the charm of the Camino for us is figuring things out each day as we go. It may sound weird to some, but we like the idea of not knowing each morning where we sleep that night. Makes it a little more spontaneous and interesting.
We have never had a problem getting accommodation on any night. We have had to on a few occasions walk to the next village, but again part of the charm of a Camino.
But this year, with many albergues and other accommodations closed because of Covid is different.
 

arthur1218

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
-
It is useful to learn how to make a phone call in another country without relying on others, because while walking long distance abroad sometimes we may find ourselves in trouble and need to call for help.
Also on the less popular Caminos it happens often that you arrive at the door of the albergue and you have to call the hospitalero to come and open it for you, and many times there is nobody around to help you with the phone call.
 
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David61

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2019
Frances (2020)
Using the Wise Pilgrim app, I could just tap call and it would call for me.
As for booking dot com, though useful, they take a hefty commission from the albergues, so it is always better to book direct. The albergues appreciate it.
I sometimes had the hostess where I was staying, call ahead for me. Sometimes I sent emails or called myself.
This may be true but the flip side is that Booking.com does generate a lot of business for small places. Quite often I was one of only few (or one) guests.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
This may be true but the flip side is that Booking.com does generate a lot of business for small places. Quite often I was one of only few (or one) guests.
Right. Businesses don't need to be on booking.com. It's their choice, and the site gives them a lot more exposure than they would have otherwise.
 

Canada Wanders

Lost, but making great time...
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2015
CP 2018
while that probably works and is functional, I cannot help seeing it is not the most pilgrim like thing to do, booking.com just bids and places bookings, like a standard holiday.
I do understand it is a practical option, but booking.com takes any business around the area, not just the places that are devoted to pilgrims.
You can also book a holiday to Fiji on that page, for example
Agreed.
However I did need an address of a place 24 and 48 hours to give to the airport who was busy trying to track my pack.
It is also an answer to those not as confident
 

zrexer

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014, 15,16 & 19 Camino Frances
2017 Camino Portuguese
2018 Camino Primitivo
2020 Camino Del Norte
But this year, with many albergues and other accommodations closed because of Covid is different.

Maybe your right, but it is mainly how you approach life, living either by faith or fear. I don't use 'faith' in my case in a religious sense as I am not particularly religious. I use it more in the sense of living in the expectation that good things will happen because I expect it. This may sound like mumbo jumbo to many, but amazing when you change your way of thinking.

After my six Camino's this expectation of good things has rarely been disappointed. This of course goes beyond the scope of this thread which is pre-booking accomodations out of the fear one will have to sleep out in the wilderness with the coyotes if pre-booking isn't methodically done for each night.

I certainly wasn't always this way, and in hindsight I have spent way too much of my life and mental energy worrying about things that ultimately never came to pass.
So if I gained any wisdom from my Camino's... to steal a a book title, 'Don't sweat the small stuff (Because it's all small stuff.)'

Covid has certainly emphasized very clearly those that live either by faith or fear, but that is a new thread for another day.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and back (no name; Tours; Francés; sea; no name)
Maybe your right
@trecile is right 😊, this Covid-19 September is different from other Septembers on the Camino Francés.

And you may have noticed that @roamingpaddy who asked how to dial numbers in Spain walked up to O Cebreiro in the middle of the night yesterday and slept in the porch of the old church there. No prebooking for his first night 🙂, despite having a mobile phone on him.

Not all those who carry a mobile phone and are prepared to phone an albergue now and then are worriers. And we don’t need to worry about them and what they gain from their camino 😊.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and back (no name; Tours; Francés; sea; no name)
I just remembered something which may come as a surprise to many who walked in very recent years: @roamingpaddy walks from O Cebreiro to Santiago, ie he walks in Galicia. AFAIK, some of the public albergues in Galicia are still closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic; they were closed in March and will not open at all this year. In addition, it is now recommended by the owners and managers of these public albergues themselves to phone a day in advance to either book or enquire whether the public albergue is open or has enough free beds left because their capacity is reduced by 50% due to Covid-19 measures.

Also, there is now an online reservations system for these public albergues in place in Galicia.

And it won't go away even when this coronavirus has lost its prominent position. The reservation system for public albergues in Galicia will be available during the upcoming Jacobean Holy Year 2021 and beyond.
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and back (no name; Tours; Francés; sea; no name)
AFAIK, some of the public albergues in Galicia are still closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic;
I checked https://alberguesxacobeo.gal/caminos/camino-frances/

Indeed, a surprising number of the public pilgrim albergues on the popular Camino Frances in Galicia are currently closed. And when you look at a public albergue that is open and pick a date (you can only pick today or tomorrow, depending on whether you book before 1 pm or after 1 pm), you can see the number of beds that are still available.

And in Covid-19 times, you may prefer an albergue that is not yet booked to its current full capacity ... :cool:.

Tempora mutantur and we and the public Camino albergues change with them. Although perhaps not everyone changes in the same direction and with the same relaxed attitude. ☺
 

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